Reds Crushed Giants Pitching Last Weekend, So ‘Over’ Is Call Thursday, May 11

reds giants

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 8:58 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 10, 2017 8:58 PM UTC

The surprising Cincinnati Reds and disappointing San Francisco Giants open a four-game series at AT&T Park on Thursday night (10:15 ET). It’s a less-than-great pitching matchup in Game 1, which has this capper leaning ‘over.’

MLB Season Record: 13-7

Cincinnati Reds At San Francisco Giants (-130, 8)

Cincinnati makes its only visit to San Francisco starting Thursday night to open a four-game series. If you had told me that on May 11 one team in this series would be battling for first place in its division and one would be in the cellar, I would have expected that. Except of course I would have thought the Reds would be last in the NL Central and the Giants near the top of the NL West. Instead, it’s flip-flopped.

I don’t see how Cincinnati keeps this up even with the best run differential (plus-18) in the division. The Reds’ lineup has been very good (Top 5 in runs and average) but the pitching staff not. Cincy is still a +2000 long shot on MLB odds to win the Central. The Giants’ season was toast when ace Madison Bumgarner injured his pitching shoulder.

Travel-wise, the Reds have a huge advantage here. They ended a two-game interleague series on Tuesday by beating the Yankees 5-3 to close a nine-game homestand at 7-2. It’s rare for a team to close a series on a Tuesday and then be off Wednesday. That day off is big flying from the Midwest to the West Coast. Meanwhile, the Giants closed a nine-game road trip Wednesday at 3-6 but ended a five-game skid with a 6-5 victory at the Mets. Down 3-2, the Giants scored four in the top of the ninth and held on in the bottom.

Two injury updates for the Giants. Closer Mark Melancon, the team’s big offseason free-agent signing, is on the disabled list for the first time in his career. He’s dealing with inflammation in his right pronator, a muscle on the inside of the forearm. Derek Law will handle closing duties while Melancon is out. Law gave up two runs and three hits in his one inning Wednesday in New York but got the save.

Meanwhile, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is expected to be activated off the DL and play Thursday. He has been out since April 25 with a groin injury. Crawford was hitting .263 with two homers and eight RBIs in 21 games but the two-time Gold Glover has really been missed in the field.

The Reds swept three games from the visiting Giants last weekend by a combined score of 31-5. It was San Francisco’s first time being swept three games in Cincinnati since 2013. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton had a big series in going 7-for-13 with four RBIs and three steals. Zack Cosart, among the NL batting leaders, was 6-for-12 with a homer and four RBIs. Eugenio Suarez was 6-for-13 with a homer and six RBIs. The Reds hit .376 as a team.


Thursday’s Probable Pitchers

It’s 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo on the bump for the Reds. He has been a bit shaky at 3-2 with a 6.53 ERA in six starts after missing the past two seasons due to injury. Arroyo has lasted six innings just twice. That said, the Reds have won his past four. He beat the Giants last Friday in allowing three runs (two earned) and five hits over 5.1 innings. It rather helped that the Reds last 9-1 after four innings.

Cincinnati has won Arroyo’s past four against the Giants overall. Crawford is 2-for-11 career off him. Buster Posey hits .467 off him with two doubles and a homer in 15 at-bats. Brandon Belt is 6-for-14 with two doubles.

San Francisco starts lefty and former reliever Ty Blach. He has taken Bumgarner’s spot in the rotation. Blach (0-2, 5.66) has made 10 appearances this season, the past three as a starter. He was pummeled Saturday in Cincinnati in allowing 10 runs and 11 hits in just three innings of a 14-2 loss.  He became the first Giants pitcher to allow 10 runs in one game since San Diego had 10 in 5 1/3 innings against Jamey Wright during a 10-4 win at San Francisco on May 1, 2006.

Hamilton is 3-for-3 off Blach with a double and triple. Cozart is 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Adam Duvall is 2-for-3 with a homer. Suarez is 1-for-2 with a double and RBI.

Tough call on this game. The Reds are playing well and rested, while the Giants are in a funk and flying off a cross-country trip. Then again, I don’t trust Arroyo much. Blach should be better than last week. I don’t often recommend an ‘over’ MLB pick at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park often but will here. The ‘over’ is 4-0-1 in Arroyo’s past five vs. the Giants and 12-3-1 in the past 16 meetings between these teams overall in the Bay Area.

MLB Free Pick: ‘Over’ 8Best Line Offered: Heritage

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